Growth and Loss

Author: Cecily Smith

I recently read an article that cited the following as the most regrettable wastes of time at the end of a solid life: not asking for help, trying to make bad relationships work, dwelling on past mistakes and shortcomings, and worrying too much about other people. The article was short, sweet, and to the point — diving headfirst into each topic with empirical evidence and anecdotes to support each strongly worded assertion. The author was sharing advice from those who’d weathered life’s storms and run the course (for the most part) successfully.Far be it from me to sound especially wise or over-righteous, having not even cleared a full month at the tender age of 29; but the article stirred within me several elements of je ne sais quoi — as I reflected nostalgically on recent episodes of growth and loss in my own life. The year 28 was an impactful one. I learned about love and loss at new levels. I also experienced a new level of maturity through tough decisions made regarding who should and should not be allowed to remain in my personal microcosm of existence. This is why the second point in this article resonated so profoundly with me.The year 2018 was undoubtedly marked with several instances of coddling bad relationships — clinging to them even — at the dismay of my own personal growth. I can’t blame anyone but myself for prolonging that which should have been addressed much sooner; but by the beginning of 2019, I had resolved to walk away from at least six close relationships that were no longer conducive to my mental, physical, or emotional health. These were relationships with years of history and even greater emotional ties. It was definitely one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to do. Now as, I straddle the line of my old life and my new one, I can’t help but feel a mixed bag of emotion. Of course, I miss my friends — my loved ones — whom i had to leave in the past; but I also feel a newfound freedom as I shed weights of bad habits, codependency, and stagnancy. There’s a new world of relationships and experiences awaiting; however, I can’t help but think of those i’ve left behind as I embark on this new journey. I relive tender moments with each vivid memory or old inside joke that crosses my mind… and these tiny voices always tend to appear, almost simultaneously, with each occurrence.

Did you make the right decision? you aren’t perfect. Are you to blame? What could you have done differently? Why can’t you maintain relationships? Will you ever?

Although, difficult to reconcile at times, these questions have proven to be healthy and absolutely essential to my personal growth and self-empowerment. Of course, i’m not perfect! I have had my share of dysfunctional relationships, but i’m finding myself with each step forward through accountability, self-awareness, and multi-faceted retrospection. Self-reflection ultimately dictates how we perceive our own identity. Without solid and factual reflection, we create unreliable narratives that suspend us in our circumstances. This is why therapist are important — they serve as proof of existence and lend an extra set of eyes to an otherwise unchallenged perspective. In turn, this mobilizes you to at least acknowledge learned toxic behaviors and bad habits that you’ve accepted. From here — it’s up to you to do better. At this point, it’s time for you to launch into the next part of your destiny, because when you know better, you do better. Right?Imagine, if you will, a rocket that releases its boosters as it thrusts upward to its new destination. although the boosters’ connection is essential to keep the rocket grounded, at some point it must eventually be removed to make it into new space. Similarly, some of the people who’ve held you up for so long (and vice versa) can’t follow you on the next stage of your journey. Just as a rocket sheds various components as it breaks into new levels of atmosphere, sometimes, we experience similar metamorphism.Some things and people are only meant to stay with you for a season. They teach you what you need to learn and then you move onto a new level of glory. You cannot break into who you have been called to be until you release those things which are holding you down. Albeit scary and uncomfortable, it is essential to your growth. Ultimately, if God is saying to “release” why hold on?GOD IS TRYING TO LAUNCH YOU INTO A NEW SPACE!You have all that you need to produce the purpose that God has placed in your heart. Your next level is not wrapped up in who’s coming with you or not; it’s wrapped up in releasing those weighing you down. Mourning these losses is natural and healthy. My mother has always told me that “you can’t just throw people away” and I get it. It’s normal to miss things and people from the past because they were once so important to you. Remove one part and the whole structure falls. Ultimately, their presence once served as a critical part of becoming who you are today.This is by no means an excuse to cut everyone off without reason or explanation. A part of this journey is apologizing for your role in the dysfunction and resolving to be better as you continue along your path. However, acknowledging all of which that keeps you from your full potential is a mighty beginning.


Author: Cecily Smith

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